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It’s been a ‘quietly busy’ month, willow-wise. A little break from making post-new year but plenty to do with harvesting last year’s willow, planting 17 different varieties of willow cuttings on a new site, and teaching a workshop at the lovely Lewes Seedy Saturday. Lots of planning for the next few months as well… Winter is therefore a jolly helpful pause in the frenetic momentum of life.

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the harvest, gleaming in the sun

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new willow cuttings in (500 of them!)

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A happy and talented student making a sweet pea obelisk at my workshop as part of Lewes Seedy Saturday

Log basket bonanza!

Seems like I’m getting a lot of orders for log baskets suddenly! Very happy to take on these commissions as they are one of my favourite things to make!

This one (being delivered today to Eggs to Apples in Hurst Green, East Sussex, for their Christmas Bonanza- see eggs to apples farm shop), measures at border height 19.5″, stake to stake diameter 18.5″. Using 6 and 7 foot willow combining Dicky Meadows and Black Maul. With a hint of buff for contrasting band.

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Festive Willow Workshop

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Saturday 17th December 10.30-12.30 am, Burwash Village Hall.

Learn how to make a woven willow star, and take at least one home- to hang in your house or give as a gift.

All materials provided plus hot drinks and mince pies!

£22 per person, advance booking essential.

Please book your place by calling Emma on 01435 882327 / 07913 651638 or email empurcell@hotmail.com

 

 

 

shoulder bags

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I have new shoulder bags in stock, in a range of shapes and sizes. These can be used as foraging vessels or handbags, and can take a surprising amount of weight. They are stylish, practical and unique. Leather straps made from reclaimed leather from Wolfram Lohr’s workshop (http://wolframlohr.bigcartel.com).

Each ‘basket-bag’ costs £75-80 each.

I will be taking them to the Great Dixter Winter Fair at the end of the month (26th/27th0, and if there are any left, to Wilderness Woods for their fair on the first weekend of December.

If you’d rather take your pick before they are released to the masses, get in touch!

 

 

 

Basketmaking in Ireland

 

Had a marvellous time with Joe Hogan in the west of Ireland. Learnt how to make a skib, a non-functional pod from a ‘tree hole’, and practiced my fitching on a small log basket. Also made several underfoot bases which I am still less confident about. It’s all about repetition…

 

Joe Hogan Visit

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This time next week I’ll be in County Galway staying with Joe Hogan, master basketmaker and artist. I’ve admired Joe’s work for years and am thrilled to be able to learn from him. This visit has been made possible by the generous HCA* and NADFAS** bursary, the first part of which went towards learning traditional work with Adrian Charlton. With Joe however, I’m hoping to explore techniques used in more contemporary, sculptural work (such as his pods, one pictured above).

(*The Heritage Craft Association and ** The National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies)